cover image The Wrong Kind of Weird

The Wrong Kind of Weird

James Ramos. Inkyard, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-335-42858-5

Cameron Carson, member of his Hilltop High School’s Geeks and Nerds United (G.A.N.U.) club, spent his summer hooking up with cheerleader and student council president Karla Ortega. But when school starts up again, the two agree to keep their liaisons—a secret that both teens were “obviously ashamed” of—hidden from their respective friend groups. Karla is at the top of the social food chain, and Cam is “too nerdy” to be included in her social circle. Enter G.A.N.U. member and former nemesis Mackenzie Briggs, with whom Cam starts unexpectedly bonding over shared niche interests. Despite their antagonistic history, Cam develops feelings for Mackenzie; and though his and Karla’s clandestine meetings continue, Cam is continually rebuffed by Karla, forcing him to decide what—and who—he wants to carry into his future. Via an unapologetically geeky protagonist whose infectious enthusiasm for nerd culture leaps off the page, Ramos (That Girl, Darcy) captures the sometimes all-consuming fear of trying to figure out who one truly is and the fear of letting go. A large, intersectionally diverse cast, tidy resolutions, and low-stakes conflict make for a spirited read. Ages 13–up. Agent: Emily Forney, BookEnds Literary. (Jan.)